With one single decision President Barack Obama pulled the rug out from under any moves by Mississippi Democrats to expand Medicaid in Mississippi. In fact, he pulled the rug out from under the supporters of expansion in all the states who have yet to decide to expand the program. He also began the slippery slide into the undoing of his own signature achievement as President, ObamaCare, something that was inevitable.
On Wednesday the Obama Administration blinked in the face of the huge number of states who have outright rejected any form of Medicaid expansion by delaying cuts to DSH payments to states. 23 refused participation at last count.
DSH, or “dish”, payments are given to hospitals by the federal government to states through Medicaid for caring for the uninsured.
What the administration has done is basically admit that these payments to hospitals will never end, something that would have been eventually learned through a court order had the cuts actually been attempted. Back in June of 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states had the legal authority to reject expansion and the federal government could do nothing to penalize states for it. The exact language in the ruling says:
“What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”